I planned on spending the last day of 2010 snowshoeing at a Mass Audubon property south of Boston. Unfortunately, I overslept and then spent most of the morning drinking coffee and gazing out the kitchen window at the 20 inches of snow in my back yard. Moose Hill would have to wait for another time. The weather was too nice to waste by staying indoors all day so I decided to take a short drive to Bradley Palmer State Park to check out the GAC Fat Ass loop. I know several people from the Lynn Woods Crew and The Ultra Gang who will be running there next weekend so I thought I could give them a heads-up on what to expect.
The good news is that it should be a much faster course than last year when the snow had the consistency of granulated sugar. This year the snow is much wetter and has been compacted by a snowmobile and xc-skiers. I'm not saying running 50K in the snow will be easy, just easier than last year. The snow is still mushy in spots but with the colder temps forecasted for next week it should firm things up for race day. The toughest sections will likely be the half mile uphill climb from marker 11 to 17 and then again from marker 21 to 58 near the open field. It looked like I was only the second person to pass through these sections and the snow was soft and deep. It is holding a lot of moisture though, so it should compact nicely on race day after everyone makes a first pass over it. Running from marker 61 to the start/finish will be a piece of cake. It's been plowed down to bare pavement.
Trail map with 10K loop.
Overall, it's a fairly easy course.
Wish I could join in the fun. Have a blast!